A listing of random software, tips, tweaks, hacks, and tutorials I made for Ubuntu
September 11, 2015Posted by on
I wrote openlux around 2 and a half weeks ago, as a simple, libre alternative to f.lux that addresses a few issues I’ve encountered with it. I’ve since used it everyday, and I’ve actually noticed an improvement in my sleep!
However, my iPad still uses f.lux (or, until today, at least). No, in this case, I’m not worried about the fact that f.lux is proprietary (it’s an iPad), but earlier, when my sleep was really messed up (and by messed up, I mean, I was going to sleep at 7-8am), f.lux would automatically switch to 3400K (instead of 2300K), which definitely didn’t have a positive impact on my sleep. Also, it only goes down to 2300K, doesn’t allow much customizability, and doesn’t always work how I want it to work, etc.
So after spending quite a long time (basically ever since I released the first version of openlux) working on the port, it finally works!!! It doesn’t work as well as I wanted it to (multiple colors output the same value, compressing the color range … I tried lerping values, but it ended up giving garbage), but at least it works!
Animations literally took about the last hour of developing this version (in other words, barely any time at all, compared to the time needed to develop the iOS port), since, luckily, I only encountered one bug while making it. The point of animations is not for visual bling, but rather to make it easier on the eyes if it’s run automatically (e.g. via cron).
Other than those, there are a few minor features, such as optional relative adjustment of colors (“-b 10” will set the blue channel to 10, “-b +10” will add 10 to the blue channel, and “-b -10” will remove 10), and saving/resetting gamma values (mainly just a by-product of working on the iOS port).
If anyone would be interested in testing this on their iDevices, I would really appreciate it ^^ Though it works fine on my 1st generation iPad, I don’t know if it will work on other devices too. I wrote instructions on how to compile and run it here: https://github.com/AnonymousMeerkat/openlux/wiki/Compiling-for-iOS :) I’m not aware of this being able to cause any permanent damage to your device (my device works fine now, even after the display being severely messed up multiple times), but if you’re scared, stick with f.lux for now. Quick note: it doesn’t work on iOS <4, since it needs to retrieve the gamma table (which iOS versions <4 don’t support).
To wrap up, here’s a few examples of the new features that come with openlux 0.2:
openlux -k 1000 -a 10000 # Animates to 1000K in 10 seconds (10000 milliseconds) openlux -k 1000 -a 100000 -d 100 # Animates to 1000K in 100 seconds, with a delay of 100 milliseconds per "frame" (less CPU usage) openlux -k 1000 -g +10 # Sets the color temperature to 1000K, but adds 10 to the green channel openlux -R # Resets to the last saved gamma table (openlux automatically saves the gamma table the first time it's run per boot) openlux -s # Saves the gamma table
August 28, 2015Posted by on
Note: I’m sorry, this post is a bit of a mess.
I wrote a post 2 days ago, outlining an idea for a non-windowing display server — a layer that wayland compositors (or other programs) could be built upon. It got quite a bit more attention than I expected, and there were many responses to the idea.
Before I go on, I wish to address a few things that weren’t clear in the original post:
The first being that I am not an ubuntu developer, and am in no way associated with canonical. I am only an ubuntu member :) Even though I don’t use ubuntu personally, I wish to improve the user experience of those who do.
Second is a point that I did not address clearly in the original post: One of the main reasons for this idea is to enable users to modify the video resolution, gamma ramp, orientation, brightness, etc. DRM provides an API for doing these operations, however, AFAIK, you cannot run modesetting operations on a virtual terminal that is already running an application that has called video modesetting operations. In other words, you cannot run a DRM-based application on an already-running wayland server in order to run a modesetting operation. So, AFAIK, the only way to enable an application to do this is to write a sort of “proxy” server that handles requests, and then runs the video modesetting operations.
Since I am currently confusing myself re-reading this, I’ll try to provide a diagram in order to explain what I mean.
If you want to change the gamma ramp, for example, this is impossible:
So with the display server acting as a proxy of sorts, it becomes possible:
This is also why I believe that having a server over a shared library is crucial. A shared library would allow for abstraction over multiple backends, however, it doesn’t allow communication with more than one application. A wayland compositor can access all of the functions, yes, but wayland clients cannot.
The third clarification is that this is not only meant for wayland. Though this is the main “client” I have in mind for this server, it isn’t restricted to only wayland. The idea is that it could be used by anything, for example, as one response pointed out, xen virtualization. Or, in my case, I actually want to write clients that use this server directly, without even using a windowing server like wayland (yes, I actually have a good reason for wanting this XD ). In other words, though I believe that the group that would use this the most would be wayland users (hence why I wrote the original post tailored towards this), it isn’t only meant for wayland.
There were a few responses saying that wayland intentionally doesn’t support this, not because of the reason I originally suspected (it being “only” a windowing protocol), but because one of wayland’s main goals is to let the compositor to have full control over the display, and make sure that there are no flickers or tearing etc., which changing the video resolution (or some other modesetting operations) would undoubtedly cause. I understand and respect this, however, I still want to be able to change the resolution or gamma ramp (etc.) myself, and suffer the consequences of the momentary flickering or whatever else. Again though, I respect wayland’s decision in this aspect, so my proposal, instead, is this: To make this an optional backend for wayland compositors. Instead of my original proposal, which was to build wayland compositors on top of this (in order to help simplify the stack), instead, have this as an option, so that if users wish to have the video modesetting (etc.) capabilities, they can use this backend instead.
A pretty large concern that many people (including myself) have is performance. Having an extra server on the stack would definitely have an impact on performance, but the question is how much.
So with this being said, going forwards, I am currently working on implementing a proof-of-concept prototype in order to have a better sense of what it entails, especially in regards to performance. The prototype will be anything but production-ready, but hopefully will at least work … maybe XD .
August 26, 2015Posted by on
For the TL;DR folk who are concerned with the title: It’s not an alternative to wayland or X11. It’s layer that wayland compositors (or other) can use.
As a quick foreward: I’m still a newbie at this field. While I try my best to avoid inaccuracies, there might be a few things I state here that are wrong, feel free to correct me!
Wayland is mainly a windowing protocol. It allows clients to draw windows (or, as the wayland documentation puts it, “surfaces”), and receive input from those surfaces. A wayland server (or “compositor”) has the task of drawing these surfaces, and providing the input to the clients. That is the specification.
However, where does a compositor draw these surfaces to? How does the compositor receive input? It has to provide many backends for various methods of drawing the composited surface. For example, the weston compositor has support for drawing the composited surface using 7 different backends (DRM, Linux Framebuffer, Headless [a fake rendering device], RDP, Raspberry Pi, Wayland, and X11). The amount of work put into making these backends work must be incredible, which is exactly where the problem relies in: it’s arguably too much work for a developer to put in if they want to make a new compositor.
That’s not the only issue though. Another big problem is that there is then no standard way to configure the display. Say you wanted a wayland compositor to change the video resolution to 800×600. The only way to do that is to use a compositor-specific extension to the protocol, since the protocol, AFAIK, has no method for changing the video resolution — and rightfully so. Wayland is a windowing protocol, not a display protocol.
My idea is to create a display server that doesn’t handle windowing. It handles display-related things, such as drawing pixels on the screen, changing video mode, etc… Wayland compositors and other programs that require direct access to the screen could then use this server and trust that the server will take care of everything display-related for them.
I believe that this would enable for much simpler code, and add a good deal more power and flexibility.
To give a more graphic description (forgive my horrible diagraming skills):
I didn’t talk about the input server, but it’s the same idea as the display server: Have a server dedicated to providing input. Of course, if the display server uses something like SDL as the backend, it may have to also provide the input server, due to the SDL library, AFAIK, doesn’t allow a program to access the input of another program.
This is an idea I have toyed around with for some time now (ever since I tried writing my own wayland compositor, in fact! XD), so I’m curious as to what people think of it. I would be more than happy to work with others to implement this.
August 23, 2015Posted by on
If you are familiar with research suggesting that blue light affects your sleep, you might also be familiar with a (free!) software named f.lux. I use it on my iDevices (used to use it on my computers too), and it works great …. except for a few issues.
The first is CPU consumption. Seriously, this software takes up a lot of CPU. That was the main reason behind ditching xflux (the X11 edition of the software). It also doesn’t entirely block out blue light, even at the lowest color temperature it allows (this is true for the iOS version too). There were a number of other issues that became annoying over time (forced very long animations, a daemon that rarely ever works as intended, sometimes the software doesn’t even work at all, mouse cursor being left entirely out of the picture, etc.). These would (probably) all be simple to fix …. however, it’s free as in price, not as in freedom. The software is closed-source.
Openlux is a very simple open-source MIT-licensed clone I wrote that tries to address these issues (minus the mouse cursor issue, that one is a bit more complex). For now, it doesn’t contain as many features as xflux does, but it is only a first release. Animations and the lot will come later :)
I haven’t worked on packaging yet (if anyone wishes to spend some time doing this, that would be greatly appreciated!!), but for now, visit https://github.com/AnonymouMeerkat/openlux for download and compilation information (sorry for the mess in main.c, I will get to that later!).
Here are a few usage examples
openlux # Sets the screen color temperature to 3400K (the default) openlux -k 1000 # Sets the color temperature to 1000K openlux -k 2000 -b 0 # Sets color temperature to 2000K, but removes all blue light openlux -k 2000 -b 255 # Ditto, but blue is set to 255 (maximum value, gives the screen a magenta-ish tone) openlux -r 130 -g 150 -b 100 # Gives the screen a dark swamp green tint (Kelvin value is ignored) openlux -k 40000 # Sets the screen color temperature to 40000K openlux -i # Resets the screen color temperature
I personally like using
openlux -k 10000 during the day (very relaxing for the eyes!), and
openlux -k 2300 -b 40 during the night.
I hope this can be useful for you!! If you have any issues, suggestions, feedback, etc. (even if you just want to say thank-you — those are always appreciated ^^), feel free to write a comment or send me an email!
July 14, 2015Posted by on
Software license agreements (EULA) are generally considered little more than a confirmation on whether or not the user really wants to install said software. Heck, for all that most users care, it could read “Do you wish to install this software?” and their overall reaction would be approximately the same. In fact, I often catch myself using the “I decline” button when I realize that this software is indeed useless.
Of course, in the back of our minds, we know that we really should read it …. but, come on, we have a life to live. We can’t spend it reading license agreements! YOLO.
Many software developers know this fact, and capitalize on it. One good example would be a company named after a fruit that develops smartphone specifications. Have any of you ever read the 60 page long license agreement on a tiny screen, just to install the next Flappy Bird?
I’m no different. I’ve probably only read 3 (proprietary) license agreements in my entire life… and I’ve installed hundreds of proprietary software.
I’ve also found myself accustomed to thinking it’s illegal to share software with my friends. The idea of inspecting or modifying how a proprietary software works (through reverse engineering) feels very risky and only borderline legal. And, actually, both are true in most cases.
For many users, this doesn’t seem like an issue. Most users, and in fact a lot of programmers too, wouldn’t check the source code of a program they are running. And, to be honest, most users would rather just link to the website of the software anyways, even if the software would allow itself to be shared.
However, just because these freedoms are rarely used, it doesn’t mean that they are useless. Think of a self defense class. Unless you’re in a more violent neighborhood, chances are that you will very rarely need to use it. But when you do, you will be really happy that you did invest the time to learn it. After the Snowden leaks, many people started accusing software of sending data to the NSA. Is this true? I don’t know. And that’s the issue: We are not legally allowed to know. We cannot inspect or modify the software in any way. We blindly trust what the developers say about their products.
Of course, there are also more everyday usages of being able to inspect, modify, or share. I’ll use Studio One as an example. It’s a proprietary software. Its bugs have lead me to immense data losses (due to a really badly functioning “Undo” button that can occasionally screw up the entire project file). If I had the source code handy it would be possible to fix this (probably a bit difficult, yes, but possible). But I can’t fix it, because the EULA doesn’t allow me to inspect and modify.
What about sharing software? Because I cannot share the software I use with others, it makes it entirely impossible for me to create truly “open source” music (I’m not sure if the term applies to music, but I think you get the idea). I make breakdown videos, where I show how I made the music, but as far as I know, I cannot legally go any further than that.
This is not because these software developers are evil. They do this to maximize their profits, and that’s understandable. However, the cost of this is our freedom.
Now that I’ve spent some time criticizing proprietary software, I’ll take a bit of time promoting free (as in freedom) software.
First the term, Free Software. “Free” has multiple meanings (in the coincidentally named “thefreedictionary.com”, it lists 38 different meanings for the word “free”), but there are 2 major ones: free as in no price (gratis), and free as in freedom (libre). In order to distinguish between them, I’ll use “gratis” and “libre” instead.
Both the terms gratis and libre can be used to describe software. Hence, using the term “free” can be very ambiguous; “does this specific software respect my freedom? or is it just that my wallet is unnecessary?”. In many software circles, “free software” simply means gratis. In these circles, Skype could be considered free software (even though it doesn’t respect your freedom, among other issues). However, in other circles (generally among libre software developers), “free software” qualifies as “libre”, not “gratis” (and therefore, Skype would not be considered free software).
So what is the purpose of free software? Basically, depending on the license, it enables you to do what proprietary software forbids you from doing. You can share the software with anyone, you can inspect how the program works, you can modify it, and you can redistribute the modified versions too! It allows for an incredible eco-system in which programmers around the world can create new features, fix bugs and security leaks, then submit it back to the project leader for integration with the software. Or, if someone has a wildly different goal than the team who develops the project, they can fork it and create a new project, using a modified codebase of the original!
What does this mean to users who don’t know how to program? Well, okay, sure, not as beneficial to them. However, practically speaking, since an unlimited amount of programmers can get involved, libre software (especially larger ones) have a much lesser chance of having bugs, security leaks, viruses, or spyware. It can also include many more features than proprietary software does. Libre software is also often updated much more frequently than proprietary software, since any developer can contribute.
It is also possible for users to hire a programmer to make a change for them, in the same way that home owners may hire a plumber to fix a leak (except that, generally speaking, programmers would probably take more time to make the change than a plumber would to fix the leak).
Since the first part talked about the idea of proprietary software, and the second about free/libre software, the third will look at practical usage: How to switch over to libre software.
It can be difficult to switch to libre software, especially when you have proprietary software that you use a lot and/or really like. For example, if you use Skype, it may be difficult to ask your Skype contacts to switch over to Ekiga or some other libre VoIP software. In my case, a surprising number of my contacts were thankfully flexible enough to switch over to some other communication method. However, everyone is individual, and your friends might find it difficult to migrate over (even after explaining why not to use Skype).
However, luckily, most proprietary software have libre equivalents. It is beyond the scope of this post to list these, but, with a bit of research, you can find some online (I would link a list, however, I can’t find any lists that only include truly libre software). I would be happy to help find an alternative if you want too! (just leave a comment or send me an email)
Sometimes though, there are no alternatives. This is especially relevant in the field of modern video games, or music production. It is also relevant with drivers for parts of your system that do not have a libre driver written for it. So what do you do? This is really up to you. Are you okay with using proprietary software for this one purpose? Should you avoid using it period?
For me, I use proprietary software for both music production, and a few video games. I don’t like the fact that I’m using either, but I currently value the features that it provides over what it can control (when using proprietary software, I ensure that internet is turned off, and I don’t have any other software open). Later, once I find OSS alternatives for the music software I’m using, and when I detach myself from video games (I only really play Deus Ex Human Revolution …. it’s a good game, with an amazing soundtrack xD), I will probably finally use 100% libre software (minus the BIOS) on all of my machines.
Lastly, I would like to address the fact that libre software is only one part of the issue in having control over your computer. While it is possible to have full freedom in every single way for software, there are two other major issues: Hardware, and Internet.
Hardware is very difficult, since you can’t easily change the hardware. And, in fact, even if you knew the source code (HDL) of the hardware, it would be very very difficult to reverse engineer it in order to make sure that the hardware is indeed following the source code. There are even theories that Intel and AMD CPUs are sending information to the NSA (evasively worded responses from the companies give credence to this theory). Whether or not this is true is outside the scope of this article, but the point is, hardware is a very big issue, and I think the only true answer that would guarantee that the source code truly is the hardware, would be to create your own hardware. I think it goes without saying that this would be very very difficult. Maybe with the rise of 3D printers this will someday change … who knows!
Internet is the other issue. The internet is a way to access ports from foreign computers. Unless you own the foreign computer, there is no way of guaranteeing that your data will be safe with them. They can do anything they want with the data you send. Getting away from services that are known to spy on you and otherwise harm you (such as Facebook) can be a difficult task, depending on how connected you are with the service. In Facebook’s case, everyone is on Facebook, because everyone is on Facebook. Leaving it can be difficult, since you have to sometimes migrate family members and friends to other websites (same point as I made with Skype).
I hope that you found this post useful! I’m sure a lot of points in here may be wrong (please correct me!!), but I have tried my best in order to make sure that this can be as informative and accurate as possible to those that are new to the concept of software freedom. I know I have missed a lot of other important points in here, but I’m not sure where, or if they should be mentioned, so I will link articles containing those below.
If you have any questions, comments, corrections, or anything else (as long as it is constructive, of course!), please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email!
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html (a very good explanation on what the Free Software Foundation considers libre software)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag1AKIl_2GM (a talk by Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU project, about software freedom)
http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.en.html (a list of completely libre GNU/Linux distributions)
https://libreplanet.org/wiki/List_of_software_that_does_not_respect_the_Free_System_Distribution_Guidelines (a list of software that are free and open-source, but not libre … yes, Linux contains non-free code!)
September 14, 2014Posted by on
I will start this off by saying: I’m very (and honestly) sorry for, well, everything.
To give a bit of history, I started relinux as a side-project for my CosmOS project (cloud-based distribution … which failed), in order to build the ISO’s. The only reasonable alternative at the time was remastersys, and I realized I would have to patch it anyways, so I thought that I might as well make a reusable tool for other distributions to use too.
Then came a rather large amount of friction between me and the author of remastersys, of which I will not go into any detail of. I acted very immaturely then, and wronged him several times. I had defamed him, made quite a few people very angry at him, and even managed to get some of his supporters against him. True, age and maturity had something to do with it (I was 12 at the time), but that still doesn’t excuse my actions at all.
So my first apology is to Tony Brijeski, the author of remastersys, for all the trouble and possible pain I had put him through. I’m truly sorry for all of this.
However, though the dynamics with Tony and remastersys are definitely a large part of why I’m quitting relinux, that is not all. The main reason, actually, is lack of interest. I have rewritten relinux a total of 7 times (including the original fork of remastersys), and I really hate the debugging process (takes 15-20 minutes to create an ISO, so that I can debug it). I have also lost interest in creating linux distributions, so not only am I very tired of working on it, I also don’t really care about what it does.
On this note, my second apologies (and thanks) have to go those who have helped me so much through the process, especially those who have tried to encourage me to finish relinux. Those listed are in no particular order, and if I forgot you, then let me know (and I apologize for that!):
- Ko Ko Ye
- Raja Genupula
- Navdeep Sidhu
- Members of the TSS Web Dev Club
- Ali Hallahi
- Gert van Spijker
- Aritra Das
- Diptarka Das
- Alejandro Fernandez
- Kendall Weaver
Thank you very much for everything you’ve done!
Lastly, I would like to explain my plans for it, in case anyone wants to continue it (by no means do I want to enforce these, these are just ideas).
My plan for the next release of relinux was to actually make a very generic and scriptable CLI ISO creation tool, and then make relinux as a specific set of “profiles” for that tool (plus an interface). The tool would basically contain a few libraries for the chosen scripting language, for things like storing the filesystem (SquashFS or other), ISO creation, and general utilities for editing files while keeping permissions, mutli-threading/processing, etc… The “profiles” would then copy, edit, and delete files as needed, set up the tool wanted for running the live system (in ubuntu’s case, this’d be casper), setup the installer/bootloader, and such.
I would like to apologize to you all, the people who have used relinux and have waited for a stable version for 3 years, for not doing this. Thank you very much for your support, and I’m very sorry for having constantly pushed releases back and having never made a stable or well working version of relinux. Though I do have some excuses as to why the releases didn’t work, or why I didn’t test them well enough, none of them can cover why I didn’t fix them or work on it more. And for that, I am very sorry.
I know that this is a very large post for something so simple, but I feel that it would not be right if I didn’t apologize to those I have done wrong to, and thanked those who have helped me along the way.
So to summarize, thank you, sorry, and relinux is now dead.
– Anonymous Meerkat
January 9, 2014Posted by on
Step 1: Install WineASIO
If you use ubuntu, run this in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install software-properties-common wget sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kxstudio-debian/kxstudio sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install kxstudio-repos sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install wineasio
If you use Arch Linux:
Add the Arch Audio repository, then run in a terminal:
sudo pacman -Sy wineasio
Step 2: Register WineASIO
If you have a 32-bit WINE prefix, or you have a 64-bit one, and you want to run a 32-bit ASIO application (e.g. a DAW), run this:
If you have a 64-bit WINE prefix, and you want to run a 64-bit ASIO application:
wine64 regsvr32 wineasio
If everything went smoothly, you should see a message similar to:
Successfully registered DLL wineasio.dll
However, you may receive:
Failed to load DLL wineasio.dll
In my case, the reason why this message occurred, is that wineasio.dll was installed to the wrong location. I had 2 problems, actually. It was first installed to /usr/lib/wine, not /usr/local/lib/wine (I have a custom-built version of WINE), and second, even if it had been installed to /usr/local/lib/wine, it wouldn’t have worked, because, in my case, WINE loaded 64-bit libraries only from /usr/local/lib64/wine, and 32-bit libraries only from /usr/local/lib/wine. The package had installed the 32-bit version of wineasio to /usr/lib32/wine, and the 64-bit version to /usr/lib/wine.
Try moving the wineasio .so’s to these places:
- 64-bit wineasio .so: /usr/lib64/wine
- 32-bit wineasio .so: /usr/lib/wine
Then try again. If you still have problems, leave a comment below, and I’ll try my best to help =)
Step 3: Setup JACK
WineASIO uses JACK as the backend for the audio, so, not surprisingly, JACK has to be setup correctly for WineASIO to function correctly. I wrote an article a while back about how to do this.
Step 4: Profit!
It’s that simple! Now all you have to do is to load up the application you want, and set the ASIO driver to WineASIO =)
August 9, 2013Posted by on
Part 1: Setting up JACK
Part 3: Setting up your orchestra
First, to address the question: “Why LMMS?” I’m actually not a huge fan of it, but, IMHO, it’s the best way to start producing music under linux if you’re kind of new to it (music producing under linux).
So… what’s so hard about setting up LMMS? Isn’t it just a matter of going to the Ubuntu Software Center, typing in “LMMS” and installing it? Yes and no. Yes, because that does, in fact, install LMMS. No, because it doesn’t add VST/VSTi support (which you’ll really want later on, trust me), AND, it doesn’t set it up either.
Now for the simple way:
sudo apt-get remove lmms sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa sudo apt-add-repository ppa:kxstudio-team/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install wine sudo apt-get install lmms
That should work just fine (and should have VST support). But what if it doesn’t? This is where it gets a bit harder.
First, we’ll have to download LMMS: https://sourceforge.net/projects/lmms/files/lmms/ . Get the .tar.bz2 archive. The next step is rather obvious: Extract it! Right…… so after you’re done that, in a terminal,
cd to where it’s extracted, and run this:
sudo apt-get remove lmms # Make sure that LMMS is not installed sudo apt-get install libqt4-dev qt4-dev-tools build-essential cmake libsndfile1-dev libasound2-dev libjack-jackd2-dev libsdl-sound1.2-dev libsdl1.2-dev libsdl-mixer1.2-dev libfluidsynth-dev libfftw3-dev libstk0-dev stk wine wine-dev libwine-dev libwine libsamplerate0-dev libvorbis-dev libvorbisfile3 libvorbisenc2 # Install the required libraries to build this mkdir build cd build cmake .. -USE=vst # Make sure we have VST support!! make # You can add -jN to it, where N is the number of threads running concurrently, if you want to speed it up (assuming you have at least N cores) sudo make install
There! It should work now!
Now we have to setup LMMS. Simply open up LMMS, and a configuration window should appear if this is the first time you opened it. If it is not, then go to Edit->Settings. Lets go to “Paths” (the folder icon). The defaults should mostly be okay, except for the “VST-Plugin Directory” one. Change that to the directory where your VSTs are (create one if you don’t have one yet. This is important!):
Then let’s go to “Audio settings” (the speaker icon). Change the audio interface to JACK, and make sure there are 2 channels:
Once you’re finished with that, let’s test! Click on the top track (it should look kind of like a light blue/cyan clover, without the stem, or like 3 circles) to open up the “Triple Oscillator” settings window, and click on one of the piano keys. If you don’t hear anything, make sure JACK is setup and running, the audio is at 100% and not muted, then restart LMMS.
Part 1: Setting up JACK
Part 3: Setting up your orchestra
August 8, 2013Posted by on
Part 2: Setting up LMMS
In my previous post, I was talking about (okay, fine, advertising) a track I made under linux, using LMMS, and I said I would write a tutorial on setting up an audio studio, and creating a track with it, so here it is! I’ll dividing this tutorial into multiple parts, so stay tuned (one way to do this is to subscribe … hint, hint ;) )!
This part, as the title says, is to setup JACK. This is probably the most frustrating step in setting up your studio, but it’s very important! Most people will try to make it work with a program named QjackCtl. If that works for you, awesome! But it never worked for me. So instead, I’ll show you how I made it working, well, without it (mostly).
Here is the command I run on my computer to start JACK. It’s probably not optimal, but it works for me:
killall jackd;killall pulseaudio;jackd -R -t 1000 -d alsa -P hw:0,0 -r 48000 -n2 -D
This will probably not work on your computer, but we’ll test it, using alsaplayer (install it if you don’t have it yet, and make sure that the volume levels are at 100%, and nothing is muted):
alsaplayer -o jack PATH/TO/AUDIO/FILE.mp3
And, of course, replace PATH/TO/AUDIO/FILE.mp3 to the path to an audio file (that you know works, and for your convenience, I’ve uploaded a working test audio file here: http://www.uploadmb.com/dw.php?id=1375942423). The test is simple: Click on the play button. Do you hear audio? If yes, then JACK works! If no, then, well, do I need to clarify this? :P
Anyways, if it doesn’t work, what you’ll have to do is to try EVERY. SINGLE. AUDIO DEVICE. (and subdevices). Sounds like a lot of repetitive work, right? It is! So to get the audio device list, open up QjackCtl (I said that we’d get it working mostly without it, not completely!), select “Setup”, and click on the arrow beside “Interfaces”:
Now, if you look carefully, you might find a red circle around a certain area. That area contains the hardware ID (for lack of a better term) which we will be giving to JACK. So re-run this command, changing the part in bold with the ID you saw:
killall jackd;killall pulseaudio;jackd -R -t 1000 -d alsa -P hw:0,0 -r 48000 -n2 -D
And then re-test JACK (using the alsaplayer test I mentioned earlier). If it doesn’t work, keep on repeating the JACK step, changing the hardware ID each time, and, of course, test it. Once it works, package it up in a script, like this:
#!/bin/bash killall jackd;killall pulseaudio;jackd -R -t 1000 -d alsa -P HARDWARE_ID_HERE -r 48000 -n2 -D & # The ampersand at the end is intentional, as it runs it in the background
Save it, and
chmod +x it (set it as executable), then run it when you need JACK.
Bonus: Routing Pulseaudio to JACK
Don’t worry, this part is simple :D . Make sure JACK and pulseaudio are running (you can run pulseaudio by running this:
pulseaudio &), then run this:
pactl load-module module-jack-sink channels=2; pactl load-module module-jack-source channels=2;pacmd set-default-sink jack_out
You might have to re-run it, and restart applications using pulseaudio.
This is the full script I use to start JACK, and route pulseaudio to it:
#!/bin/bash killall -KILL jackd killall -KILL pulseaudio jackd -R -t 1000 -d alsa -P hw:0,0 -r 48000 -n2 -D & # REMEMBER TO CHANGE hw:0,0 sleep 3 pulseaudio & sleep 3 pactl load-module module-jack-sink channels=2; pactl load-module module-jack-source channels=2;pacmd set-default-sink jack_out pactl load-module module-jack-sink channels=2; pactl load-module module-jack-source channels=2;pacmd set-default-sink jack_out
Part 2: Setting up LMMS
May 2, 2013Posted by on
A rather long time ago (around a year and a half), I wrote a post about a system I was making which was supposed to be a cloud-based OS, named CosmOS. I didn’t really develop it that much, as I had a rather vague sense of what I wanted to do with it, and I immediately had problems with implementing the most basic concepts. Most of the idea was actually quite boring, and had already been developed by others. But since I had gone through all the trouble of making a tool for creating it (relinux), I decided to try it anyways, and just radically changed the whole design. And I did. I also found that I couldn’t have used the same name, as CosmOS was already the name of at least two different OS’s, and it was also the name of a directory of linux OSs (among other unrelated usages), so I kind of got that I had to change the name.
The name is actually based on two words, Synergy and Lithosphere (I was going to call it LithOS, but it sounded like some kind of boring scientific and/or business-oriented OS, if you know what I mean). I know, kind of an odd combination, and the reasoning for it is a quite far-fetched, but heck, it’s an unused name, and it sounds cool! Lithosphere was used as a creative way to say “ground”, because it’s not cloud-based (unlike CosmOS, in fact), and it’s also designed to be “down to the ground” with you. Instead of you adapting to the OS, the OS adapts to you (will explain how this works later). Also, the Synergy part is because since it’s completely with you, it allows nearly everything to be done much easier and simpler, reducing the amount of time both the users AND the developers need to do nearly everything (except for the engine… :-/).
The OS itself is principally designed under the following goals:
- Help the user to become more productive within it
- Extremely intuitive
- Extremely easy to collaborate on anything
- Extremely customizable
There is only one software that I’m aware of that does this well: Minecraft (creative mode). Okay, forget the productive element, but still, anyone can pick up the pace on how to use minecraft extremely quickly. Also, if you’ve ever played it, you’ll know how easy it is to collaborate on building something. You don’t need to use a VCS like git or mercurial to build something. Just get someone else on your server, and build together!
That’s kind of my idea with SythOS. You are inside a 3D environment, windows are mapped to 3D surfaces (I had this idea from Wolfenstein Qt, but it appears to already have been implemented: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FjuPn7MXMs), and the environment is modifiable, using a minecraft-like in-game “level editor”. Other people can connect to your computer (if you allow them, of course), and then you can work together on projects (such as coding, audio, video, or even games) at the same time! Of course, for this to be effective, you have to have somewhat compatible software (you can’t both work on the same window for rather obvious reasons), but even if the software you use isn’t “compatible”, taking turns, and being able to see what the other is doing real-time is still way easier than using some kind of VCS or worse, emailing files back and forth, right? Also, with the chat and mic/audio features that are planned, you can also make meetings and/or “calls” (kind of like skype does, except without the video) within it.
Here’s a list of features that are definite:
- 3D virtual world
- Windows mapped to the world
- MMO-like online presence
- World is Minecraft-like
- Different tools and blocks (inspired by minecraft)
- Hand tool: Allows you to do basic edits to windows (such as moving, resizing, and closing), and allows you to use windows, plus allows you to remove blocks
- Kill tool: Allows you to kill processes, based on the windows you hit, and, of course, allows you to remove blocks
- Various blocks, which allows you to place them, and remove other blocks, plus allows everything the hand tool allows you to do
- Portal tool: Allows you to create portals to different rooms, so as to decrease the time needed to go between two different “workspaces”
- Whitelist, Blacklist and “Asklist” for everything (great for multiple user computers, and/or online interaction)
- Quake-like terminal with multiple tabs, but it can be used to place any kind of windows, not only terminals
Other features that are planned, but not definite would be:
- Some kind of game engine, so you can create 3D objects that interact with the world (though it’s definitely not limited to games, it could even be used to create fancy movie creation software, or 3D modeling software)
- Facial expression recognition, so your character’s face will match your expression. This is definitely not an important feature, and if it is ever implemented, it will probably be quite far-future.
- Video… somehow… (no idea how to elegantly do this though)
Now for the point of this post (the reason why I’m writing it): Would you use something like this? If so, or if not, why? Any ideas and/or comments on this?
About the possibility of it being implemented, I know that it is possible, but I’m not sure how much time it’ll take me to do all of this (and I’m not sure if I’ll have the stamina needed to do this). I’m planning on releasing a prototype by the end of this summer (2013) though.